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Samudra Manthan

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Samudra Manthan

Stories of Vishnu's Second Incarnation as Kurma and Saint Kashyap

In Hinduism, Kurma was the second avatar of Vishnu. Like the Matsya Avatara also belongs to the Satya yuga. Vishnu took the form of a tortoise and sat on the bottom of the ocean after the Great Flood. A mountain was placed on his back by the other gods so that they could churn the sea and find the ancient treasures of the Vedic peoples.

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Goddess Laxmi requests that Lord Vishnu allow mankind to have the benefit of his wisdom. "Dharti" introduces the story of a saint Kashyap who had three wives, Diti, Aditi and Dhanu.

Episode 1:
 Lord Brahma comes to meet Lord Vishnu. He is asked to pass on the Vedas (the words of the cosmic Lord himself to guide mankind to live a purposeful life) to mankind. Goddess Laxmi is pleased with the Lords concern for humanity however Haygrive - the Dhanav is upset and considers it to be unfair. He steals the Vedas when Brahma is away.

Episode 2: 
Vishnu tells Laxmi that Dharti is disintegrating and its law are collapsing. It was time for him to reincarnate himself to purify and save it from the decay that had set in. Once again Vishnu and Laxmi become one. Brahma informs Vishnu that Danav Haygrive has stolen the Vedas. Vishnu decides to punish him. One day a tiny fish swims into Manus hands and requests that Manu care for it and protect it from the bigger fish in the ocean. The fish is none other than Lord VIshnu. The Vedas disappear and Haygrive's men who were guarding them rush to inform Haygrive.

Episode 3:
Haygrive and his men succeed in searching out the four Vedas. He wants to destroy them but Lord Vishnu rescues them and kills Haygrive. Manu, having gathered all the seeds of the plants and a pair of every bird, awaits Lord Vishnu. He realizes, he has forgotten to take the Saptvishis with him. They would be needed to educate mankind. Lord Shiv prepares to create a deluge to purify Dharti.


Episode 4: 
Kashyap refuses to attend Haygrives funeral for he believes he deserved what he got. Power corrupted him and his violent ways had brought upon his death. He also feared that the violent culture of Danavas would bring about more disaster. A war of succession begins between Kaal Ketu and Harshad. Indra the leader of the gods defeats Kaal Ketu. He declares that he is almighty and unbeatable but Lord Vishnu is unhappy about this declaration.

Episode 5: 
Dharti comments on the death of Haygrive. It says that the wise always try to overcome their shortcomings when they face opposition. The unwise close their minds and become victims of their pride. Chitrath and Malayaketu inform Indra that the Danavs have decided to invade the realm of the gods. Lord Vishnu is unhappy with Indras pride. Shukracharya decides to do penance and obtain Sajeevni Mantra as his reward from Lord Shiva. Once he has this mantra he can bring back the dead. Lord Shiva suggests that the mantra be given to the one who can prove his ability to posses this mantra in a test.

Episode 6: 
Devraj Indra is certain that Danav Guru Shukracharya wont succeed in his penance. Later he sends Chitrath and Malayaketu to witness this failure and bring the good news back to him. Narad informs Devraj Indra that Shukracharya is going through his penance with determination and it looks as if he will succeed. Indra sends Apsaras to obstruct him. Indras daughter takes the job instead even though her father asks her not too.


Episode 7: 
Hanging upside down from the branch of a tree, Danav guru continues his penance. Indras daughter Jayanti arrives there posing as a disciple and manages to put red chilli powder in the dry burning leaves. The smell causes Shukracharyas eyes, nose & ears to bleed. Unable to handle his suffering Jayanti confesses her guilt. Lord Vishnu sees a calamity for Devtas in the event of Shukracharya completing his penance. He grants him the Sanjeevni Mantra. To resolve her sins Jayanti offers to serve Shukracharya all her life, and he accepts her as his wife.

Episode 8: 
Devraj Indra is told that Danavs have declared war against Devloke. He orders his associates to crush the invaders. Shukracharya prepares to leave for the battlefield. The war starts and Danavs give Devtas a crushing defeat. Goddess Laxmi is worried about the fate of the Devtas. Lord Vishnu tells her not to worry but to wait & see. Vishnu Bhagwan asks Indra to churn the primeval waters and bring out nectar from it, which would make the Devtas immortal.

Episode 9:
 Lord Vishnu is happy to note that Devraj Indra has succeeded in convincing Danay Guru Shukracharya that churning of primeval waters to obtain nectar would be beneficial for all concerned. He further remarks that wars can also be won with convincing words. Devtas and Danavs agree to share the treasures that would be obtained form the waters equally. Lord Vishnu asks Narad to make sure that Danavs holds the head of Vasuki Nag to be used as a rope. Shukracharya asks Swarbhuanu to make sure that the division of the treasures from the primeval waters is fair.


Episode 10: 
Turning into Kurma the divine turtle, Vishnu supports the cosmic churn on his back. Devtas pay homage to him and the churning of the waters begins. Gods hold Sesha Naag's tail and the Danavs grab his neck while the churning starts. The ocean froths and fumes and kalkuta poison rises form it. On Vishnu's request Shiv collects the lethal fluid and drinks it. Soon goddess Laxmi emerges from the waters. The Danavs and Devtas wish to possess her and are ready to go to war for her. She pleads with Vishnu who directs her to Brahma. He intervenes and gives Laxmi the right to choose her husband.

Episode 11: 
Laxmi is sad because Vishnu has not been invited to her "Swayamvar" arranged by Brahama. She says so to Narad who promises to request Vishnu to attend. All the invitees gather at the venue where Laxmi's swayamvar is to take place. Brahma makes the announcement that henceforth it would be the right of every woman to choose her husband. She would put a garland around his neck to reveal her choice. Laxmi becomes restless because Vishnu is nowhere to be seen in the gathering. When he finally arrives she happily puts the garland around his neck and hail the cosmic couple. Churning of the waters starts again and Dhanvantri emerges with a pot of gold containing nectar.




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